First Sunday of Lent: Graceful Foundations of Obedience

Matthew 4:1-11

Be sure to join your sisters and brothers in worship as we launch our exploration into the nature of Christian obedience. Read the temptation of Jesus from Matthew 4 and consider how the obedience of Jesus set the stage for our conversations today.

Regular worship times at Parker United Methodist Church include 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00. If you can’t be with us for one of those services, please be sure you are worshiping at a congregation of your choice.

I know we can all think back to a season of temptation in our lives. Maybe you were longing for a new gizmo so much that you lost track of reality and your commitment to budget. Or perhaps you have been in a situation where temptation came through a relationship or an opportunity that seemed too good to be true. While some struggle with too much to eat; others will find themselves tempted by other behaviors that might end up being compulsive. One thing for sure, we know that temptation takes a lot of different forms.

That is the way it was for Jesus! For forty days and forty nights there was one temptation after another. Each blow was shielded from his spirit by a word from Scripture and a renewal of his commitment to serve God and God alone. In the end, “the devil left him, and the angels came and attended him.” That moment became a catalytic moment that created the possibility that we can join Jesus in the ranks of those who overcome.

Sometimes we think that obedience and overcoming is all about trying harder (remember Avis rent a car?). But it really is not just about gritting our teeth, clenching our fists, and standing our ground. It is about the presence and power of God in our lives.

Temptation may come your way today. It is a part of the human condition just like it was a part of the human experience of Jesus. But don’t stop with the human alone…rely on the divine love of God to see you through even the most difficult days. Seek the Lord and learn to trust in the Word!


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